By Babajide Komolafe
United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc has assured its shareholders and investors of excellent performance in the 2022 financial year, as the bank continues to deepen its foothold to reap the benefits of its investments in strong and innovative digital product offerings and expanded scope over the past few years.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, noted that, together with its diversified business model and keen ventures into key markets in Africa and beyond, investors of the bank will enjoy huge financial benefits and dividends in the current financial year and beyond.
Uzoka said this during the Investors/Analysts Conference Call at the bank’s Head Office in Lagos, following the release of its results for the full year ended December 31, 2021. He explained that UBA’s diversification model remains one of its best growth strategies as seen from the huge contribution of its subsidiaries into the business in the last financial year.
“Considering the significant investment the bank has made over the years across the globe – this is about $105 million in 20 African countries, United Kingdom, France and the United Arab Emirates, and the fact that UBA is the only Sub-Saharan bank with a deposit-taking license in the United States of America – We are indeed beginning to reap the benefits of our investments. It is expected that, as the operations continue to grow, the bank will be able to realise the full benefits of its investments in multiples and will thereby, deliver much higher dividend returns to shareholders in the years ahead,” Uzoka told the investors.
Breaking down the full year 2021 financial results to the investors, Uzoka pointed out that gross earnings rose significantly to N660.2 billion representing an increase of 7 per cent compared to N616.8 billion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year, whilst total assets grew by 11 percent to an unprecedented N8.5 trillion in the year under review, up from N7.7 trillion in 2020, marking the first time the Bank’s assets will cross the N8 trillion mark.
UBA’s Profit Before Tax was impressive with a 20.3 per cent growth to N153.1 billion, compared to N127.3 billion at the end of the 2020 financial year as Profit After Tax rose by 8.7 per cent to N118.7 billion in 2021, compared to N109.2 billion recorded the previous year.
As a result, the Bank proposed a total dividend of N1.00, comprising an interim dividend of 20 kobo, already paid, and a final dividend of 80 kobo, to be presented to shareholders for approval at the 60th Annual General Meeting scheduled for April 7, 2022.
Continuing, the GMD explained that the quality of UBA staff, its portfolio, as well as the strength of the bank’s credit risk management frameworks and policies, remain the bedrock of the positive and sustained results of the bank, adding that “Our current performance highlights our customer focus leveraging on our three levers, which are: people, process and technology; and so we see that as a well-diversified financial institution, UBA remains very strongly capitalised to take advantage of opportunities in the future.”
UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer, Ugo Nwaghodoh, who also responded to questions at the conference call assured investors that the bank is committed to further strengthening its payments infrastructure to fully absorb the growing clientele in the digital space.
“Our records show a very well-diversified loan book across various critical sectors across the economies in which we operate and the diversification is in both industry sectors, across geographies and customer segments. We are reinforcing our digital banking and payment offerings as we continue to see a stronger proportion of non-interest income to total income in the days ahead,” Nwaghodoh said.